By Michael J.W. Stickings
In a race as close as this one, newspaper endorsements matter more than ever. And it’s telling that some big ones are going to President Obama.
What strikes me about these four editorials is that the cases they make for the president (and against Romney) are all extremely thoughtful and non-partisan. They recognize that not all is well across the country, and that Obama first term hasn’t been without its flaws. But they cut through the bluster and point to Obama’s steady and courageous leadership in a challenging time, as well as to his significant achievements (such as rescuing the auto industry, passing comprehensive health-care reform, setting the country on the path to economic recovery, the signs of which are all around us, and ordering the mission to take out Osama bin Laden), as the basis for their endorsements.
That, and the fact that Romney has been a shamelessly flip-flopping panderer (to the far right, now to the center) with a right-wing agenda short on actual details.
I encourage you to read all of these in full:
[T]his is the Mitt Romney we knew, or thought we knew, as one of us.Sadly, it is not the only Romney, as his campaign for the White House has made abundantly clear, first in his servile courtship of the tea party in order to win the nomination, and now as the party’s shape-shifting nominee. From his embrace of the party’s radical right wing, to subsequent portrayals of himself as a moderate champion of the middle class, Romney has raised the most frequently asked question of the campaign: “Who is this guy, really, and what in the world does he truly believe?”
The evidence suggests no clear answer, or at least one that would survive Romney’s next speech or sound bite. Politicians routinely tailor their words to suit an audience. Romney, though, is shameless, lavishing vastly diverse audiences with words, any words, they would trade their votes to hear.
More troubling, Romney has repeatedly refused to share specifics of his radical plan…*****In considering which candidate to endorse, The Salt Lake Tribune editorial board had hoped that Romney would exhibit the same talents for organization, pragmatic problem solving and inspired leadership that he displayed here more than a decade ago. Instead, we have watched him morph into a friend of the far right, then tack toward the center with breathtaking aplomb. Through a pair of presidential debates, Romney’s domestic agenda remains bereft of detail and worthy of mistrust.Therefore, our endorsement must go to the incumbent, a competent leader who, against tough odds, has guided the country through catastrophe and set a course that, while rocky, is pointing toward a brighter day. The president has earned a second term. Romney, in whatever guise, does not deserve a first.
Today, we recommend President Obama’s re-election. He has led the nation back from the brink of depression. Ohio in particular has benefited from his bold decision to revive the domestic auto industry. Because of his determination to fulfill a decades-old dream of Democrats, 30 million more Americans will soon have health insurance. His Race to the Top initiative seeded many of the education reforms embodied in Cleveland’s Transformation Plan. He ended the war in Iraq and refocused the battle to disrupt al-Qaida and its terrorist allies. He ordered the risky attack inside Pakistan that killed Osama bin Laden.*****
Obama has shown that he favors engagement over bluster, and practical solutions over easy bromides. That’s what the country needs.
Consider a defining moment early in Obama’s first term — one with special resonance in Ohio: The outgoing Bush administration had used TARP funds to throw a lifeline to General Motors and Chrysler, but the two automakers were still at death’s door. They wanted more cash and offered vague promises to change their ways. Public opinion opposed another bailout. Romney urged the companies to file for traditional bankruptcy — at a time when private-sector credit was frozen even for healthy firms.
Obama told the companies to restructure using the Bankruptcy Court and set conditions for government financing: GM’s chairman had to go. Excess plants and dealerships had to close. Chrysler had to be bought out by Fiat. Contracts had to be renegotiated.
It was unpopular but gutsy. And it worked. Ohioans today are making cars in Lordstown and Toledo. They’re making parts and steel for Ford, Honda and other automakers. They’re back on the job.
That’s leadership that deserves a chance to finish the job. Re-elect President Obama.
3) The Denver Post — Denver’s largest daily:
Obama… has shown throughout his term that he is a steady leader who keeps the interests of a broad array of Americans in mind.
We urge Coloradans to re-elect him to a second term.